Edge Of Tomorrow - Blu-ray Review

'Cruise guarantees the film a charismatic and skilled central presence. Sometimes nowadays it seems easy to forget Cruise and his unabashedly mainstream, leading man quality.'

The multi-titled Edge Of Tomorrow (based on a book called All You Need Is Kill and sporting a Live. Die. Repeat. pretext on several online channels) gets another twist in its titulature from its own Blu-ray box, the spine of which adds in a slash between two of its possible monikers. Choose your own adventure?

It seems a fitting epitaph for a film that no-one seemed to know how to sell from the off. There is little doubt around anywhere that Edge Of Tomorrow is a 'good' film. It's got a 8/10 average on IMBd and a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is, at time of writing, the best-selling pre-order on Amazon and despite its flailing marketing and perceived bad box office, it currently sits as the 219th highest grossing film of all time.

All of that says to me that the problem with Edge Of Tomorrow is not to do with audiences but one to do with studios and money men. Ultimately, we don't care what the film is called: we were happy to consume it and to buy it on home video and to generally support it. The studios meanwhile have thrashed around nervously, again, at a Science Fiction film, a genre that continues to be pilloried in studio land, by heads terrified that they are looking at the next expensive genre flop. They should know better. For a start, if it's one thing that Tom Cruise guarantees, it is that your film will make money.

The other thing Cruise guarantees is that your film will have a charismatic and skilled central presence. Sometimes nowadays it seems easy to forget Cruise and his unabashedly mainstream, leading man quality. This LA Weekly article from May is a great vindication of Cruise's talent and the partial assassination thereof. I recently watched Divergent, which features Jai Courtney, one of the new breed of action stars, in a prominent supporting role. Would you rather watch Courtney gurning his way through a lead part - through this part - or Cruise? How about any of the new breed of frontmen; Sam Worthington, Chris Pine or Chris Evans, say? I, for one, would pick Cruise every time. He has no peer for selling this sort of thing, for making us believe in a thinly plotted alien war, or for making us like a generally unlikeable central character.

With Cruise locked-in, director Doug Liman needs only to worry about keeping us interested in a plot which inevitably involves an element of repetition. There is a great deal of success here, as Liman plays with how the narrative is delivered, which bits to omit and which to introduce through later run-throughs, but also a handful of misses that bring the film down. J-Squad, the collective to whom Cage (Cruise) is assigned are an anonymous collection, straight out of central casting and their presence at the finale, where previously Cage and Rita (Emily Blunt) had been so strong as a pairing feels unnecessary. Any section that includes Brendan Gleeson's General Brigham, including the woefully fake newscast opening, also lacks the consistent thrills and development of the main narrative. His Whitehall HQ feels like something out of The Hunger Games, where the rest of the world feels more grittily apocalypse-like.

So, it's not that Edge Of Tomorrow is a perfect film, far from it, but it is a film that deserves a fair crack and and honest appraisal. You would have thought that it could have expected to receive that, at the very least from the studio responsible for its release.

Edge Of Tomorrow is out on UK Blu-ray and DVD from Monday 13th October 2014.

By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

No comments:

Post a Comment